Category Archives: Running

43 Songs: The Ultimate Running Playlist

While visiting my parents in Indiana, I thought I’d be able to keep up my training for an upcoming half marathon (I’m planning to NOT repeat this total FAIL). But, I’m currently stuck inside, watching the freezing rain outside, and am just not hard core enough today to get out there and run in that mess.

Whether you're in marathon training or just looking for a great workout mix, this Ultimate Running Playlist is sure to get you moving!Meanwhile, why not take this time to finally share my running playlist with you? I listened to this mix while training to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It’s pretty random – and no, I wouldn’t let my kids listen to some of these songs – but they all either make me happy or pump me up.

So, without further ado, The Ultimate Running Playlist:

1. Renegades– X Ambassadors
2. Fight Song – Rachel Platten
3. Love Runs Out – OneRepublic
4. Stitches – Shawn Mendes
5. Shots – Imagine Dragons
6. TiK ToK – Ke$ha
7. Rolling in the Deep – Adele
8. Raise Your Glass [Clean] – Pink
9. Photograph – Ed Sheeran
10. One Thing – One Direction
11. Lose Yourself [Clean] – Eminem
12. Drive By – Train
13. Counting Stars – OneRepublic
14. Good Feeling – Flo Rida
15. Black Widow [feat. Rita Ora] [Clean] – Iggy Azalea
16. Try – Pink
17. I Lived – OneRepublic
18. Maps – Maroon 5
19. Boom Clap – CharliXCX
20. You Make Me Brave – Bethel Music
21. Bang Bang – Ariana Grande & Jessie J & Nicki Minaj
22. Brave – Sara Bareilles
23. Greater – MercyMe
24. Titanium (Feat. Sia) – David Guetta
25. Team – Lorde
26. Dark Horse – Katy Perry
27. Grenade – Bruno Mars
28. There You Go – Pink
29. Roar – Katy Perry
30. Little Talks – Of Monsters and Men
31. We Found Love – Rihanna
32. Burn – Ellie Goulding
33. Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
34. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson
35. Club Can’t Handle Me (feat. David Guetta) – Flo Rida
36. Feel Again – OneRepublic
37. Firework – Katy Perry
38. Cruise – Florida Georgia Line
39. The Lost Are Found – Hillsong Worship
40. Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
41. Awake My Soul (with Lecrae) – Chris Tomlin
42. Part Of Me – Katy Perry
43. Geronimo – Sheppard

What’s on your favorite playlist? What should I add?


I recently ran my second marathon, and, considering my Top Three Love Languages are 1. Words of Affirmation, 2. Words of Affirmation, and 3. High Fives, it’s no surprise that Marathon Day was the best. day. ever.

Consequently, the only suitable way to recall said marathon is with an outpouring of thanks and gratitude to some of the unsung heroes of the day:

Thank you, Marriott employees, for re-labeling the men’s restroom to become a 2nd ladies’ room. Because ladies stop being ladies when it’s 10 minutes to the starting gun and the bathroom line is 73 deep.

Thank you, kind people collecting discarded clothing at the starting line. Hoodies were flying left and right in those first steps, and it was nice to know it would all be cleaned and donated.

Thank you, ringers of cowbells and makers of signs. Thank you, in particular, to the makers of the following signs:

motivational sign


Enough said, really.




free banana


Not entirely inaccurate.




your mom


(I know you don’t get it, Mom.)

(Yes, it’s inappropriate.)

(And really funny.)


Thank you, tall skinny man running in front of me on the bridge. Though he be skinny, he be blocking some wind.

Thank you, o husband of mine, for handing me a bottle of flat Coke (a.k.a. Sweet Nectar From Heaven) at mile 17. Also, thank you, kind woman who took the bottle from me a block later and promised to dispose of it properly so as to keep me from being a total litterbug.

Thank you, little girl handing out Krispy Kreme donuts at mile 18. May the Lord richly bless you and your household tenfold for generations to come.

Thank you, every. single. child. who reached out for a high five. YOU’RE ALL MY FAVORITES.

Thank you, people who yelled, “You’re almost there!” at mile 19. You’re a bunch of well-meaning liars. You are not my favorites.

marathon bib


Thank you, person responsible for printing my name on my bib, and thank you, every single blessed person who cheered for me by name. I know you didn’t actually know me, but at mile 20, who gives a rip?


Thank you, two girls who simply yelled in high-pitched voices, “You’re SOOOO PRETTY!” to each and every runner. Although your sobriety was questionable at best, let’s be honest: who DOESN’T like to be called pretty at mile 21?

Thank you, feet, for faithfully carrying my body, mile after mile. After mile. Even though I distinctly remember thinking at mile 23: “I can’t feel my feet…. Suck it up. WHO NEEDS FEET!?” (I take it back. I need you, feet. I do.)

Thank you, finish line volunteers who placed a medal around my neck, a drink in my hand, and a blanket over my shoulders. And thank you, kind veteran runner standing nearby who reminded me to STRETCH and KEEP MOVING as my hips and quads locked the heck up.

Thank you, nice lady who let me borrow your cell phone to call my husband when I couldn’t find him after I finished. You were undeterred by my sweaty, salty state, and I am grateful.

marathon pic square



Thank you, photographer who got this shot of me somewhere around mile 25.




See that joy on my face? That is the face of a woman who is close enough to the finish to know she is not only going to reach her goal and qualify for the Boston Marathon, but she is also going to NOT POOP HER PANTS. And THAT, my friends, is a victory we can all be thankful for.

Force Quit: an invitation

In three days, I’ll run a marathon. I have poured hours and miles of hard work into preparing.

But just weeks ago, I thought my efforts were all in vain.

It was August. School had started for BOTH of my children, and for the first time since I could remember, how I spent my day was in MY CONTROL. The season of school-age children had finally arrived. (Cue the singing angels.)

I had looked forward to this Promised Land with great anticipation — and it was the very reason I had chosen these months to train for another marathon: MARGIN! TIME! AUTONOMY!

And then, I (repeatedly) received this question: “What are you going to DO all day!?”

While I could’ve simply shrugged my shoulders with glee, I instead received the well-meaning question as a challenge. An accusation, even.

Defenses high, I began living every day from a place of, “Oh, I’ll SHOW YOU what I’m going to do all day. I’ll be PLENTY BUSY, thankyouverymuch.”

I was living my everyday Mom Life, plus training for the marathon. But then I just kept adding things to my plate. Like, All The Things. (Because I MUST DO ALL THE THINGS BECAUSE NOW I HAVE ALL THE TIME. Obviously.) And as my schedule filled up with All The Good Important Things, REST quickly became… well, not a thing.

But the snowball had started rolling, and that sucker is hard to stop once it’s rolling downhill. Partly because I felt like, if ever, NOW is when I actually *should* be able to finally DO IT ALL.  And partly because I was scared of what it would mean about me if I had “all this time” and still *couldn’t* DO IT ALL.

Force QuitWell, let me ask you a question. Do you know the “Force Quit” option on your computer? I am quite familiar with this function because I tend to leave programs open and running forever and ever amen. So, when I try to actually shut down my laptop, there are often programs that REFUSE TO STOP RUNNING, which then keeps the computer from rebooting.

So, I have to choose “Force Quit.”

Hm. Sounds kind of familiar.

I can only run so hard for so long. Literally and figuratively.

And so one day in September, I caught my daughter’s innocent little cough. And my body – over-taxed and under-rested – took it and turned it into full-blown pneumonia.

Weeks into marathon training, that’s like a punch in the gut. (More like a knife in the lung, really.) Pneumonia!? PNEUMONIA!

And I could see it: FORCE QUIT.

Temporary, yes. But real. And real inconvenient.

I was terrified. If I stopped, how would I ever get going again? How would I regain any momentum? How could I possibly recover from this setback?

And then God opened my eyes to an alternate view. Instead of a setback, He revealed an invitation. An invitation to REST. Without guilt. Without shame. I had a “MUST REST” trump card: I had pneumonia, for crying out loud. You’re not LAZY if you rest while you have PNEUMONIA. You’re just following doctor’s *very adamant* orders!

I canceled appointments. I didn’t work out. I didn’t go out. I didn’t volunteer. I stopped. For almost two weeks, I just plain stopped.

Now, several weeks later – and just days away from the marathon – I look back on that “Force Quit” with immense gratitude. It truly WAS an invitation – but not just to stop and rest. It was also an invitation to gain respect my body’s NEED for rest – and its ability to GET BACK UP AGAIN.

Our need for rest is not a sign of weakness. It’s evidence of being HUMAN. The main reason I chose to train for a marathon this year is because I knew the kids would both be in school and I would have time to TAKE A NAP. EVERY. DAY. Because I know I need so much more sleep when I train this hard. Yet, when it came time to give that to myself, it felt like a failure, so I kept the program running, active, busy.

What would it feel like to embrace your need to rest – without shame. Without needing to prove that you can DO ALL THE THINGS with ALL THE TIME.

“Hello, my name is Amanda. I have two children in school. What do I DO with myself all day? Well, I do some stuff. But I also take a nap. I TAKE A NAP.” Because I need it. Also, because I want to and because I have time for it during this season, if I protect it.

Does this make me lazy? No. It makes me NOT AN IDIOT. If you’re tired and you have 30 minutes to spare for a nap: YOU TAKE A NAP. If “Me-as-a-Mom-with-two-little-kids-climbing-her-legs-all-day” saw “Me Today” pass up a nap, she would throat punch me. Super hard.

Where do you need to respect your need for rest? In what ways do you need to choose a “Force Quit?”